Wakulla Springs Riverboat Tour, Florida
Wakulla Springs is located just south of Tallahassee, making it a wonderful place to stop if you are between the Panhandle and any other part of Florida. Wakulla Springs is Florida’s deepest freshwater spring. It boasts plenty of infrastructure, making it perfect for a quick stop, day trip or even an overnight.
We popped into Wakulla Springs on a road trip with our friends and fellow family of five bloggers, PooleItTogether. We were headed from the Destin area to Tampa and needed a place to let the kids free on our drive. Wakulla Springs was a perfect place to burn off some energy and also enjoy Florida’s natural landscape. There is a $6 entrance fee per car.
Wakulla Springs has a lovely little playground and picnic area. The kids happily ran around here and enjoyed the picnic lunch we had brought along.
There is also a full service lodge on the property, although we didn’t check it out.
What we were really there for though was the Riverboat Tour! The tours have to be booked on site and can fill up. The dads ran over to buy tickets from the dock as soon as we arrived to make sure we could get on a boat while we were there for our brief visit.
The Wakulla Springs boat tour lasts about 55 min with a guide narrating the wildlife viewing for the entirety of your boat trip. There is plenty to be seen, so the kids were never really bored. (More information on the boat tours can be found here.)
All the children got an opportunity to drive the boat as well. Which, of course, was a highlight and kept them engaged.
We visited in March and had a chance to see so many birds and animals. Every seat on the boat is a good seat and you can move around freely to get a good view. The Littles were great spotters!
The boat is electric and so quiet, so as long as the kids stay quiet the wildlife allow you to get up close.
Our on-board guide was packed full of information and corny jokes. The whole boat was laughing and learning.
We also had a chance to see the Manatees that hang out in the springs in the winter months. (We went kayaking with the Manatees a bit further south at Manatee Springs later on this same trip.)
The guides are out on the river almost every day so they know who is nesting where. We got a peek at some of these lovely birds eggs.
Even though they had picked this tree on an island in the middle of the river as their home.
There were no shortage of Alligator sightings either! Again, the guide knows each one by name and their story. Most have been living at the springs for many years.
I am both fascinated and terrified by the Alligators all over Florida. The kids though were awestruck.
Even if you saw none of the wildlife, which we heard was rare, the views from the boat are serene. They give you an idea of what Florida looked like as people moved into the area. The landscape is beautiful and eerie.
Many of the early Tarzan movies were filmed at Wakulla Springs. If you are lucky, your driver will take you to the spot where Tarzan swung over the river. The Creature from the Black Lagoon series also filmed here.
If you want to stay longer, part of the spring is roped off for swimming. There is an old diving platform you can go up and look down into the deepest part of the springs. Since exploration of the springs has started, at least nine extinct mammals (dating to the last glacial period) have been found in the spring’s underwater caves!
We had to get on our way though, so we bypassed any more exploration and got back on the road, but not before grabbing a photo of the six kids at Wakulla Springs.